What you will love about this home
Bright, fully-equipped, one-bedroom, ocean-view condo a couple of blocks from miles of beautiful sandy beach. It’s about six blocks to the local mall that has lots of shops, restaurants, and Starbucks, and two kilometres from downtown. Hua Hin is three hours drive south of Bangkok, and there are eight golf courses here. All the big hotels like the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and so on have properties in Hua Hin. The King has his summer palace here. This is an international resort town of 80,000 people with reasonably-priced dining and night clubs. It’s home to 5000 expats and friendly locals. It’s very safe.
What you will love in the neighborhood
Miles and miles of sandy beach just 10 minutes walk from the apartment. You can get an hour-long Thai massage for $7 or find a sun lounger and they will bring food and drinks to you. Hua Hin has much better transport options than Phuket, Ko Samui, or Ko Phangan. A trip that would cost $10 in Phuket is $0.33 in Hua Hin. Hua HIn has half the rain, it's closer to Bangkok, and it has very little crime, unlike the islands. Restaurants are much cheaper too, including Maria's, which is steps from the apartment and a favourite with guests.
Fabulous seafood in the night market and many restaurants in town from casual to fine dining. Lots of bars downtown, too, and water parks for the kids.
Just 2 kilometres to town, so you can walk, take public transport, or a private taxi. There are bus, train, and air connections for other parts of Thailand. The bus depot is two blocks from my place, and has good connections to all part of the country.
Hua Hin is a great town. Because the King has a palace here, it has lots of well-heeled Thai tourists, good infrastructure, and less of the sleaze found in some other parts of Thailand. The King has just donated 10 million Baht ($330,000US) to the local dog shelter so it can be transformed into a model facility for the rest of Thailand. The fate of street dogs is much improved already as a result of the King's earlier efforts.
Hua Hin is the driest place in Thailand and it's almost always sunny. As well as the beach and golf courses, there is fishing, temples, fine dining, night life, live music, night markets, yoga, spas, cooking classes, amusement parks, a Jazz fest, water sports, and so on. Kite boarding is big here too, but sex tourism is not. You would be happier in Pattaya or Phuket if that is what appeals to you.
The expat women meet up a couple of times a month through Face Book events and several of their husbands have become friends too. My apartment building has residents who speak French, English, Thai, Swedish, and several other European languages.
The local people are very friendly and welcoming. No one will chase you down the beach and try to sell you trinkets. There are sun loungers on the beach that you can use for free as long as you order (reasonably priced) food and drinks.
It's cheap here, especially if you have a kitchen. My place is about eight blocks from a large grocery store. It costs 30 cents for local transport downtown or $3 for a taxi. Massage is $7 for an hour. Restaurant meals start at $3 and even fine dining is reasonably priced. Beer is about $2 and many places have happy hours. There is a fabulous breakfast buffet at the Hyatt for $15. You can rent a motorbike for $6 a day, and it costs $20 to have your teeth cleaned. Medical, dental, cosmetic procedures, and eye care are very affordable and good quality. My place is a couple of blocks from Bangkok Hospital.
Hua Hin is three hours drive from Bangkok and the shuttle from Suvarnabhumi airport stops three blocks from my place ($10). (Bangkok has two airports.) You can also fly from Don Meaung Airport on Nok Air for $50. Taxis cost about the same, but are a good deal if there is more than one person.
Thailand is the most-developed country in the region and serves as a hub. There are cheap flights to Viet Nam, Bali, Malaysia, Cambodia and so on. Air Asia and Bangkok Air are good carriers.
The condo has a staff of about 10 people including security guards and cleaners. Staff at the condo can arrange to have the unit cleaned for $10. This is a safe neighbourhood, but we have 24 hour security guards anyway, and there is always a couple of the neighbours' dogs hanging around out front that will bark at anything suspicious. My apartment is on the sixth floor, so it's perfectly safe to sit on the balcony late at night.
You can paste this into your browser and watch a video on Hua Hin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WXf28ntOEs.